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Confidence Intervals -- Research Starters Sociology
By: Wienclaw, Ruth A.;
2009 / EBSCO
A confidence interval is a statistical tool that estimates the range of values with a given probability of including the unknown, true value of a population parameter (e.g., mean, variance, correlation coefficient). Although hypothesis testing tends to be more frequently used in behavioral and social science research, in many ways, confidence intervals reveal more information about the underlying population. Confidence intervals approximate how much uncertainty is associated with the researcher's estimate of the underlying parameter. They also enable researchers to better understand how much confidence can be placed in the observed results of a quantitative research study.